“Advertising is the modern substitute for argument; its function is to make the worse appear the better” (George Santayana). Today advertisements are more prevalent than ever. Nearly 10% of large companies’ revenue is spent marketing their products to specifically reach a particular group. There are several ways in which companies market their products: television, online, or visual advertisements, including billboards and newspapers. Most advertisements are made to target a younger demographic. A teen’s friends and family also play a role on their decision making. With the desire for teens to fit in, they are more likely to be manipulated by advertisements and the people with whom they surround themselves..
Advertising dates all the way back to the ancient Egyptians who would use Papyrus to make sales posters. The first printed ads were used to advertise a prayer book in England in 1472. During the American Revolution, advertisements were used to encourage enlisting (Fox). In 1941, the first commercial television ad for nonessential products aired and paved the way for the onslaught of advertisements that are viewed during television shows, games, and even political debates. Today the most prominent sources of advertising will be seen on the computer and TV screen. With the amount of time teens spend consuming media, the exposure to advertisements can easily have an effect on their behavior. Teens are constantly bombarded with ads and influences while searching the internet, following friends on Facebook, and watching television. With age comes privilege and independence, but teens need guidance and direction in making important choies..
With greater freedom and independence, teens face new decisions regarding automobiles, alcohol, and drugs. Poor choices involving these risks can result in terrible consequences. Teens tend to believe that they are immortal (invincible) and can do anything with little to no consequences. However, this is not the case. Teens do understand the risk, buy they just interpret the information differently than adults. “Based on the stage of their brain development, adolescents are less likely to: think before they act, pause to consider potential consequences of their actions, and modify their dangerous or inappropriate behaviors” (The Teen Brain: Behavior, Problem Solving, and Decision Making). They will reason that the reward is greater than the risk, which means that they will be willing to drink and drive or have unprotected sex as the likelihood of getting in an accident or winding up pregnant is a relatively low risk. Having teens perceive the consequences and understand the benefit of not engaging in risky behavior is the key to helping teens make the right choices. Media can be effective in this instance if positive images of healthy behaviors are and used to remind teens of the benefits of safe behavior.
Advertisements have the ability to influence the viewer’s choices. Often after...